2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five

UFA of the Day: Brian Boyle


Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Brian Boyle

It doesn’t sound like the big forward is going to be with the Rangers next season. Boyle said yesterday that he wants to make more of “an impact going forward,” that he wants to have “more responsibility.”

And an expanded role doesn’t seem to mesh with what the Rangers want from the 29-year-old.

Boyle scored a career-high 21 goals for the Rangers in 2010-11, but that was under John Tortorella, when the player averaged almost 16 minutes per contest.

Under Vigneault this season, Boyle scored just six time in 82 games, averaging 12:46 of ice time. He formed part of an effective fourth line for the Rangers in the playoffs, but “everyone obviously wants to score more goals,” he said.

Boyle’s expiring contract paid him $5.1 million over three years, for a cap hit of $1.7 million. He’ll likely be looking for a raise, which is another reason he may have to move on from the Rangers, who don’t have a ton of financial flexibility.

One of the biggest players in the NHL, Boyle finished the playoffs as the Rangers’ leading hitter (69) among forwards. He’ll fight on occasion, but he’s not an enforcer. He’s a decent faceoff guy, though, and he’s got a good sense of humor, according to former teammate Brandon Dubinsky.

“Boyle is a funny guy,” Dubinsky said last year. “He’s a character, a great guy, a great guy for the room and a good player, too. He was a good teammate to have.”

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever


Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…